You know, it’s getting to the point where if Rick Bayless gave me a recipe for stewed monkey brains with rabbit feces, toilet paper and chalk, I’d probably make it…and it would be delicious. I’m not sure how we hadn’t made today’s recipe thus far, but it’s fantastic. It’s almost like a chunky chicken and potato salad hybrid, infused with oregano, vinegar, spicy chipotles, crunchy Romaine, and sweet and creamy avocado. Rick’s original recipe calls for the chipotles to be seeded, but we kept the seeds and added a little honey to offset the spiciness a bit. We used a rotisserie chicken, but any leftover chicken you have would be fine. It’s a one-dish meal, perfect for warm summer days. Enjoy!
Chipotle Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado, Red-Skin Potatoes and Romaine
1 large red-skin potato or Yukon Gold, sliced about ¼ inch thick 1 tbsp. salt 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 teaspoon dried oregano 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, chopped
1 tsp. honey ¼ small white onion, finely chopped 6 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) coarsely shredded cooked chicken breast 2 cups sliced romaine leaves – slice them about ¼ inch across 1 ripe avocado, cut into ¼ inch cubes 2 tablespoons olive oil 12 warm corn tortillas
Place the sliced potatoes into a large microwavable bowl, pour in ¼ cup of water and sprinkle generously with salt. Cover and microwave on high for about 4 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon to a cutting board and let cool, reserving cooking liquid. Add the vinegar, oregano, chipotles, honey, and onion to the bowl with the potato water to make the dressing. Mix and then add salt. Use a fork to break up the potatoes into ½ inch pieces, then place them in a large bowl. Add the chicken and the dressing, and toss to combine. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Just before serving, add the lettuce and avocado, and drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to combine. Serve with warm tortillas. Eat!
Not much else to say about it, really. This salsa is similar to ones we’ve posted from Senor Bayless, but this may be the best of them. Roasting the tomatillos and garlic brings out their flavors marvelously, matching well with the spicy peppers, crunchy onions, and aromatic cilantro. It’s great for chip dipping, but will compliment roasted chicken, steak, or pork as well. Enjoy!
Rick Bayless’ Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
(makes about 1 1/2 cups)
4 medium (about 8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and halved
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeno, stemmed and roughly chopped
About 1/3 cup (loosely packed) roughly chopped cilantro
½ small white onion, finely chopped
Set a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Lay in the garlic and tomatillos, cut side down. When the tomatillos are well browned, 3 or 4 minutes, turn everything over and brown the other side. (The tomatillos should be completely soft.) Scrape the tomatillos and garlic into a blender or food processor, and let cool to room temperature. Add the jalapeno, cilantro, and ¼ cup water. Blend to a coarse puree. Pour into a salsa dish; stir the chopped onion into the salsa. Taste and season with salt, usually about ½ teaspoon. Eat!
Here at the MHK, we love to find simple recipes that don’t take much time to prepare, but are extremely delicious nonetheless. Today’s recipe isn’t necessarily simple, and needs a bit of time to make, but the end result is a truly amazing dish. It’s hard to believe there is a Rick Bayless recipe that we hadn’t made, but we found one. We posted another recipe for chilaquiles a while ago, but that recipe is more like a Mexican lasagna than authentic chilaquiles, which is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish (but they’re great for any meal). Bayless’ recipe uses guajillo peppers, which are dried Mirasol peppers – both are widely used in Mexican cooking; they have a mild flavor and are used primarily in sauces. By toasting them and then rehydrating them, the smokiness of the flavor comes out nicely. Chances are you can find these in your area (we found them in Albanyof all places). Mexican crema may also be readily available in your area, but we thinned out some sour cream with a little water and it was great. We skipped the step about straining the sauce before cooking it and it turned out fine (but using a good food processor helps). The egg is a critical component – the runny yolk imparts great texture to the dish. Next time we will add some heat to the dish; it definitely would benefit from some spicy addition. This is comfort food at its finest. We served it with some watermelon for a complete meal. Enjoy!
Rick Bayless’ Guajillo Chilaquiles
(serves 2 as a full meal or 4 as a side dish)
8 medium (2 ounces total) dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into flat pieces
15 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted), drained
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups chicken broth
½ teaspoon sugar
8 oz. corn tortilla chips
½ an onion, thinly sliced
About 1/3 cup Mexican crema (or sour cream thinned out with a little milk)
½ cup grated Mexican queso añejo or other dry grating cheese, such as Romano or Parmesan
Toast the guajillo pieces a few at a time in a dry heavy skillet or on a griddle heated over medium, pressing them flat against the hot surface with a metal spatula until they are aromatic, about 15 seconds per side. In a bowl, rehydrate the chiles for 20 minutes in hot tap water; keep the chiles submerged. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the rehydrated chiles to a food processor or blender. Measure in 1 cup of water; add the tomatoes and garlic and process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh sieve into a bowl, if desired. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil in a medium (4- to 5-quart) pot or Dutch oven or a large (12-inch) deep skillet over medium-high heat—you’ll need a lid for whichever vessel you choose. When hot, add the chile puree and stir until nearly constantly until reduced to the consistency of tomato paste, about 7 minutes. Add the broth, partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Season with sugar and salt. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the eggs and cook on one side just until set, sunny-side up. Raise the heat under the seasoned sauce to medium-high. Stir in the chips, coating all of them well. Let return to a rolling boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let stand for no more than 4-5 minutes. Uncover the pot and check that the chips have softened nicely—they should be a little chewy, definitely not mushy. Spoon onto plates; drizzle with the crema (or thinned out sour cream), strew with the sliced onion and dust generously with the cheese. Top each portion with an egg and serve right away. Eat!
Depressed but not defeated after the other night’s failure to procure Mexican food, we once again had to rely on our own kitchen to produce a fantastic meal. We were quite surprised to learn of a Rick Bayless recipe we had not yet attempted, and after tasting it, we wish we had made it a lot sooner. The flavors of this dish are simply sublime. Garlic, pepper, cinnamon, and oregano make the marinade come alive. The tomatoes soften just slightly under the hot chicken and absorb the flavor of the broth. Chef Bayless suggests the option of serving this with pickled onions, and we couldn’t agree more. We also served this with fresh corn on the cob, and we strongly recommend keeping the corn on the same plate as the chicken, because it too will absorb the broth and negate the need for any butter or salt for the corn. This is a full plate of flavor, people. Get cooking. Enjoy!
Rick Bayless’ Grilled Chicken with Tangy Yucatecan Spices and Tomatoes
For the Yucatecan Garlic-Spice Marinade 1 head garlic, broken into individual cloves (you want about 12 cloves) 1/3 cup vegetable or olive oil 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar pinch ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, preferably Mexican canela 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican 1/2 teaspoon sugar Salt, to taste
1/2 an onion (red or yellow), sliced into thin rings
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or 8 boneless, skinless thighs (about 2 pounds total)
1 cup chicken broth
4 Roma tomatoes
Place onion slices on a plate and top with lime juice and salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Cut a small slit in the side of each garlic clove, and place them all into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 30 seconds. When cool enough to handle, slip off the papery husks. Put them into a running food processor one at a time, letting each one get fully chopped before adding the next. Stop the food processor, and add the remaining marinade ingredients, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Process until smooth. Scrape half the marinade into a medium bowl, and the other half into a small saucepan. To the saucepan, add the broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt. To the bowl, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat evenly with the marinade; set aside. Heat grill to medium. Cook for 5 minutes, until nice and brown. Flip them over and cook until completely tender (the juices will run clear when the meat is pierced with a fork), about 5 more minutes, maybe longer if the pieces are very large. Meanwhile, get the tomatoes ready. Slice them and set on four separate plates; season with salt. Bring broth mixture to a boil. Taste and season with salt if necessary. Top tomatoes with chicken pieces, then drizzle broth over chicken. Serve with the onions. Eat!
As promised in our last post, today’s recipe is the first one we ever made from our hero Rick Bayless. The amount of flavor in this soup just blew us away, and we knew immediately that we needed to learn more about this man and his food. This soup only has eight ingredients, yet the flavors make it seem like it’s a lot more complex – and this is what Bayless does so well, creating dishes that taste way more complicated than they actually are. Roasting tomatoes and chiles (or rajas) really brings out their intense flavor in a sweet and smoky way. This recipe calls for beef stock, but using chicken or vegetable instead will do just fine. If queso fresco is unavailable where you live, Monterey Jack should do the trick. Allow enough time to roast, cool, and peel the tomatoes and chiles. Enjoy!
Rick Bayless’ Roasted Tomato Soup with Rajas
1 lb. tomatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium white onion, halved and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
½ tsp. oregano
3 medium poblano chiles
4 cups beef stock
4 oz. queso fresco, cut into 1-inch cubes
Preheat broiler. Broil tomatoes and poblanos in a shallow baking pan, turning as needed until blackened on all sides (the chiles may take a little longer). Let cool. When cool enough to handle, scrape skin off the poblanos, halve, remove seeds, and cut into ¼-inch strips. Peel tomatoes over a food processor (to catch the juices), then coarsely puree tomatoes and juice. Heat oil in heavy saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion and cook until browned on edges, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano; cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add poblano strips and stir until heated through, about a minute. Add tomato puree and stir frequently until thickened and heated through, about 7 minutes. Stir in stock and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered, stirring often, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season with salt. Divide soup into bowls and scatter cheese over the top. Eat!